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Subject: "Questlove's new pubilishing imprint to publish Sly Stone book, etc. - RS" Previous topic | Next topic
c71
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"Questlove's new pubilishing imprint to publish Sly Stone book, etc. - RS"
Wed Mar-22-23 08:31 AM by c71

  

          

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/sly-stone-publish-memoir-questlove-auwa-books-imprint-1234701473/

FUNKY PAGE-TURNER

Sly Stone Had to ‘Become Sylvester Stewart Again’ to Write New Memoir
The enigmatic funk legend's new book, Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin), will arrive in October via Questlove's new publishing imprint

BY JON BLISTEIN

MARCH 22, 2023


Sly Stone, the enigmatic R&B/funk icon, will share his story in a new memoir, Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin), arriving Oct. 17 via Questlove’s new publishing imprint, AUWA Books.

Stone co-wrote the new book with Ben Greeman, who’s written memoirs with George Clinton, Brian Wilson, and Questlove (he helped the Roots drummer with his three other books, too). Questlove — who’s directing a documentary about Stone — will also pen a foreword for Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).

In a statement, Stone said, “For as long as I can remember folks have been asking me to tell my story. I wasn’t ready. I had to be in a new frame of mind to become Sylvester Stewart again to tell the true story of Sly Stone. It’s been a wild ride and hopefully my fans enjoy it too.”

Born Sylvester Stewart, Stone’s music career began when he was a child, singing in a gospel quartet with his siblings. In the Sixties, he worked as a radio DJ in the Bay Area, forming various soul groups, including the extremely succesful Sly and the Family Stone. The group’s debut, A Whole New Thing, arrived in 1967, and that same year they released their first major hit, “Dance to the Music,” which anchored the band’s second album. Between 1967 and and 1982, Sly and the Family Stone released 10 albums, including classics like Stand! and There’s a Riot Goin’ On.

But after the dissolution of the Family Stone, Stone struggled to find success as a solo artist while simultaneously battling drug addiction. Though he got sober, he receded from public life, making only sporadic appearances, like the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a performance at the 2006 Grammys. In 2011, Stone released a new solo album, I’m Back! Family and Friends; in 2016, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys.

Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) is one of several books on the initial slate for Questlove’s new AUWA Books venture. (The Farrar, Straus and Giroux imprint takes its name, by the way, from the bird-call noise Prince used on songs like “Baby I’m a Star” and “Eye No.”) Also on the docket: Questlove’s new book, Hip-Hop Is History, and a book from TikTok star Drew Afualo (both out in 2024). Then, in 2025, StockX and Fanatics Collectibles co-founder Josh Luber will publish a book on the intersection of commerce and collecting, Building the Hype Economy; and Amazon Labor Union co-founder Derrick Palmer will publish, Handbook for the Revolution: The Essential Guide for Workplace Organizing.


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https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/22/books/questlove-books-publishing-imprint.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage§ion=Books


Questlove Has a New Creative Pursuit: Publishing

The musician and producer Ahmir Thompson, better known as Questlove, is starting his own imprint, with eye toward a mix of memoir, history and more.


By Alexandra Alter

March 22, 2023


On top of being a DJ, producer, filmmaker, drummer, Academy Award-winning director, culinary entrepreneur, member of the hip-hop band the Roots and scholar of Black musical history, Ahmir Thompson, also known as Questlove, is a prolific author. He’s written and co-authored seven books, including best sellers like “Mo’ Meta Blues,” “Creative Quest” and “Music is History,” and a forthcoming children’s book about time travel.

Now Thompson is adding a prestigious new title to his wide-ranging list of creative endeavors: publisher.

This year, Thompson is starting his own book imprint within MCD Books, a publishing division at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, where he will acquire an eclectic mix of fiction and nonfiction that ranges from memoir and books by social media stars to works about music history and business.

Thompson described the imprint, which he named AUWA Books, as akin to starting a music label.

“I would like to think of myself of what Def Jam was trying to be back in 1985 — keep my ear to the streets, keep it underground and keep my eyes on people that you otherwise would have never have heard of, but who I feel can really do a paradigm shift,” he said.



He came up with the idea of starting an imprint a few years ago, when he was beginning work on “Summer of Soul,” a documentary he directed about an epic 1969 cultural festival and concert in Harlem. He was unsettled by the fact that the concert marked a pivotal moment in American cultural history, but had largely been forgotten. “With the rapid influx of death happening with Black creators and no one to pass the recipes down I wanted to bring action to a dire situation,” he said.

Publishing books seemed like a way to keep a record and give overlooked cultural figures and movements their due.

“I’m in a phase of my life where I’m trying to rebuild the world I never had myself as a kid,” he said. “Through this imprint, I’m offering a platform.”

MCD, a literary imprint that runs toward the experimental, seemed like a natural home. Thompson had been a fan and supporter of some of the imprint’s books, especially Dan Charnas’s “Dilla Time,” about the hip-hop producer J Dilla.


The book cover for “Mo’ Meta Blues,” which Thompson wrote with Ben Greenman, shows a bearded man in profile; his silhouette is black, with dozens of neon question marks that make up his hair. A black fist emerges from the cloud of question marks.
Thompson has written and co-authored seven books, including “Mo’ Meta Blues.”Credit...Alessandra Montalto/The New York Times

Sean McDonald, the publisher of MCD Books, described Thompson’s editorial sensibility as “a little disruptive and trying to do something new.”



“That polymath quality is one of the things that’s amazing about him,” McDonald said. “It feels like it’s helping us expand our scope.”

Thompson has already acquired a handful of titles. In October, the imprint will release a memoir from the songwriter and producer Sly Stone, titled, “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),” about his unlikely rise to fame and his precipitous fall. Written with Ben Greenman, the book will feature a foreword by Thompson, who is also working on a documentary about Stone.

He’s also lined up several books about business, online activism and grass roots organizing, including “Building the Hype Economy,” about the business and culture of collecting by the entrepreneur and sneaker collector Josh Luber; an inspirational book by the TikTok and podcasting personality Drew Afualo, who’s developed a huge online following for campaigns against bigotry and misogyny; and “Handbook for the Revolution: The Essential Guide to Workplace Organizing,” by Derrick Palmer, the vice president and co-founder of Amazon’s labor union, who made headlines for his work as a labor activist who took on the world’s largest retailer.

In 2024, Thompson will release his own book, “Hip Hop Is History,” also co-written with Greenman. The book is a sequel of sorts to “Music Is History,” which looked at popular American music from recent decades and how it shaped culture and history and Thompson’s worldview.

Coming up with a name for the imprint was the hardest part, Thompson said. He wanted the name to nod to Prince, an artist he reveres. The solution hit him when he was listening to a Prince song while driving, and heard Prince make a wild birdcall sound: ah-oh-wah. He decided to name the imprint AUWA Books.

“When I heard this bird call, I was like, that’s it,” he said. “That’s my tribute to him.”

Alexandra Alter writes about publishing and the literary world. Before joining The Times in 2014, she covered books and culture for The Wall Street Journal. Prior to that, she reported on religion, and the occasional hurricane, for The Miami Herald. @xanalter

  

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